Westminster Hall’s ancient floors were DAMAGED by 250,000 mourners

Revealed: Westminster Hall’s ancient floors were DAMAGED by 250,000 mourners who queued to see the Queen lying-in-state

  • Hundreds of thousands lined streets of London, waiting hours to pay respects
  • Carpet was glued to ground inside the palace as waves of people flooded in
  • But its 180-year-old Yorkstone flooring suffered damage, House of Lords says 

The ancient floors of Westminster Hall were damaged as 250,000 mourners queued hours to see the Queen lying-in-state.

Hundreds of thousands lined the streets of London, waiting up to 14 hours to pay their final respects to the late monarch.

A carpet was glued to the ground inside the historic palace as waves of people flooded in to visit across four days in September, but its 180-year-old Yorkstone flooring still suffered damage.

A spokesperson for the House of Lords told The Telegraph: ‘As a consequence of the high-level continuous footfall through Westminster Hall during the lying-in-state some delamination to the Yorkstone floor has occurred.

Members of the public pictured standing in the queue in Victoria Tower Gardens as they waited in line to pay their respects

Members of the public pictured standing in the queue in Victoria Tower Gardens as they waited in line to pay their respects

Hundreds of thousands lined the streets of London, waiting up to 14 hours to pay their final respects to the late monarch

Hundreds of thousands lined the streets of London, waiting up to 14 hours to pay their final respects to the late monarch

A carpet was glued to the ground inside the historic palace as waves of people flooded in to visit across four days in September

A carpet was glued to the ground inside the historic palace as waves of people flooded in to visit across four days in September

Members of the public queueing opposite Westminster to pay their final respects to the late Queen

Members of the public queueing opposite Westminster to pay their final respects to the late Queen

‘It has exposed some areas of bare stone that will blend in with the surrounding areas over time. This does not present a structural risk.’

Delaminations means the colouring has become different to the stone around it, though the spokesperson said the damage is unlikely to become permanent.

They added: ‘That will blend in over time as it is exposed to the air so as it becomes unnoticeable.’

Major renovations took place at the hall following a huge fire in 1834, when the floor was lowered. The following year, though, another fire broke out during the work. 

The queue to see the Queen lying-in-state reached five miles with officials having to discourage people from joining due to its length.

Visiting those in the queue, the Prince of Wales said his grandmother would have been amazed at the number of people queueing for hours to see her coffin.

The heir to the throne was speaking to mourners in the queue, saying: ‘This is amazing. She would never believe this.

Members of the public stand in the queue in the early hours of September 18, near Tower Bridge

Members of the public stand in the queue in the early hours of September 18, near Tower Bridge

Members of the public queueing to see the Queen's coffinlying in state in Westminster Hall on September 18

Members of the public queueing to see the Queen’s coffinlying in state in Westminster Hall on September 18

‘Even in death she unites everyone, bringing everyone together, so I hope you’re all chatting amongst yourselves.’

He told people gathered there it was ‘lovely to see you’.

Reflecting on the queues, Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan also said: ‘You saw so many thousands out there and I don’t think anybody can suggest that our late monarch didn’t deserve that send-off, given the duty and the selfless service that she committed to over 70 years.

‘It was a great sense of the community coming together. I always think of our late monarch as the glue that brought society together.’